Junior midfielder Grant Krebs takes a team-best 16-game point streak into Saturday's game against Loyola.

Irish To Open Season Against Loyola On Saturday In Atlanta

Feb. 12, 2009

#7 Notre Dame at #17 Loyola
Saturday, Feb. 14 • 1:00 p.m. (ET)
McEachern High School • Powder Springs, Ga.

Live Stats: Gametracker on und.com

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SETTING THE STAGE: The No. 7 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team will open the 2009 regular season with a showdown against No. 17 Loyola (Md.) on Saturday (Feb. 14) in Powder Springs, Ga. The game will be played at McEachern High School. Game time between the Fighting Irish and Greyhounds is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET). The Irish are ready to embark on the 29th season of varsity men’s lacrosse at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish finished last season with a 14-3 mark and made the program’s fourth trip to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals. The Greyhounds had a 7-7 record in 2008 and fell in the first round of the NCAAs.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns five starters and 18 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 14-3 record … the Fighting Irish finished in a three-way tie (along with Denver and Ohio State) for the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) regular-season championship … that marked the 11th GWLL crown for the program … the top-seeded Irish captured the inaugural GWLL tournament title … Notre Dame garnered the No. 6 seed for the NCAA Championship and topped Colgate, 8-7, in overtime before falling to eventual national champion Syracuse, 11-9, during the quarterfinals … that was the fourth time the Irish had advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals … it was Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament and the second time the Irish had earned a seed … Notre Dame has been eliminated from the tournament by the eventual national champion in each of the past three seasons (Virginia, 14-10, in ’06 and Johns Hopkins, 11-10 in overtime, in ’07) … the Irish offense and defense both concluded the ’08 season ranked fifth nationally … the offense averaged 12.09 goals per game, while the defense surrendered just 7.04 per contest … the Irish finished the season ranked fifth in the final USILA poll and sixth according to Inside Lacrosse … Kevin Corrigan is entering his 21st season as the head coach of Notre Dame … he has a record of 181-95 (.656) during his Fighting Irish tenure.

ND-LOYOLA SERIES NOTES: This will be the 18th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Loyola, with the Greyhounds owning a 13-4 advantage in the series … this will mark the third straight season that both teams have met … the Irish have won the past two meetings, including a 7-6 victory last season in Baltimore … the first meeting took place in 1982 … the two schools squared off nine straight seasons from 1996-2004 … there also were two NCAA Tournament first-round games between the Irish and Greyhounds in that span … Loyola won the postseason tilt in 1997 (21-5), while Notre Dame came out on top in the 2000 tournament (15-13) … this will mark the 14th straight time that both teams have been ranked at the time of their contest.

BACK IN THE ATTACK: The Fighting Irish return a bulk of their high-scoring offense that ended the 2008 season ranked fifth nationally by averaging 12.09 goals per game … senior Ryan Hoff followed a 40-goal sophomore campaign with 41 tallies last season en route to garnering honorable mention All-America honors … he is the first player in program history to notch back-to-back 40-goal seasons … Hoff also earned All-GWLL second-team accolades … fellow senior attackman Duncan Swezey tallied 22 goals and 17 assists one season ago … junior Neal Hicks played primarily in the midfield last season and notched 12 goals and six assists … he figures to be slotted into the third attack spot this season.

HOFF MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff enters his senior season ranked fifth all-time in program history with 102 career goals … as a rookie, he tallied 21 goals before becoming the first Fighting Irish player to register back-to-back 40-goal campaigns with 40 in 2007 and 41 in 2008 … Hoff needs five goals to move past Tom Glatzel (1998-2001) and into fourth place … Randy Colley (1992-95) is the program record holder with 173 career goals.

ABOUT LOYOLA: The Greyhounds return eight starters and 35 letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 7-7 … Loyola was defeated by Duke, 12-7, in the first round of the NCAA Championship … the Greyhounds finished the season ranked 16th in the final Inside Lacrosse national rankings … current senior Shane Koppens led the Greyhounds with 43 points one season ago on 19 goals and a team-high 24 assists … Cooper MacDonnell, a current junior, deposited a team-best 22 goals in `08 … sophomore goalie Jake Hagelin played in all 14 games during his freshman season and notched an 8.10 goals-against average with a .575 save percentage … as a team, the Greyhounds averaged 9.29 goals per game, while surrendering 8.14 per contest … head coach Charley Toomey is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Loyola program … he carries an overall record of 20-19 at Loyola.

THE LAST TIME: In a battle between No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 17 Loyola, the Irish prevailed with a 7-6 victory in Baltimore, Md. last season … the contest was the ’08 season opener for both squads … Notre Dame used seven different goal scorers in the win … Alex Wharton deposited the game winner on an assist from Dan Gibson with 3:33 remaining in the game … Notre Dame led 3-0 after the first quarter and 5-2 at halftime … the Greyhounds scored all three third-quarter goals to knot the game at 5-5 heading into the final period before the Irish came away with the victory.

IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS: Notre Dame is 21-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 15-5 mark in the Kevin Corrigan era … the Irish have won a program-record six straight season-openers … last season, Notre Dame won its lid-lifter, 7-6, over No. 17 Loyola in Baltimore, Md. … the Irish last dropped a season-opener in 2002, a 10-9 overtime setback at home against No. 16 Penn State … including this year, the Fighting Irish have opened their slate against a ranked opponent for 16 consecutive seasons.

OPENING ACT: Senior attackman Ryan Hoff has scored a combined five goals in his three career season-openers … Hoff tallied two scores in an 8-4 win over Penn State in 2006 and he scored twice in a 9-7 triumph of Loyola in the 2007 season-opener … last season, he notched a goal in a 7-6 victory at Loyola.

BACK TO GEORGIA: This will mark the second straight season that Notre Dame will play in the Atlanta area … last March, the Irish topped Dartmouth, 19-7, at The Lovett School … that was the first-ever NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game played in the state of Georgia … the Fighting Irish hope this trip is not as eventful as the previous trek to the Peachtree State … the contest against the Big Green was interrupted due to dangerous storms in the area … the night before the game, downtown Atlanta was hit by a tornado.

IRISH TABBED TO WIN GWLL: Notre Dame has been picked to win the 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) title according to a preseason poll done by the conference’s head coaches … the Irish were tri-champions of the league’s regular season in 2008 before winning the inaugural GWLL tournament … the poll, which was published in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook, had Denver in the No. 2 slot followed by Ohio State … Air Force, Bellarmine and Quinnipiac round out the poll, respectively … the GWLL enjoyed unprecedented success last season as three teams qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time ever … Notre Dame, Ohio State and Denver all were among the 16-team NCAA field … the Irish and Buckeyes both advanced to the quarterfinals, making it the first time the league ever had two teams among the final eight.

IRISH EARN PRESEASON HONORS: Two Fighting Irish players were named to the 2009 All-Great Western Lacrosse League preseason team, which was selected by the league’s head coaches … seniors Ryan Hoff (A) and Regis McDermott (D) were selected to the 13-man squad.

IN THE POLLS: Notre Dame currently ranks in the top 10 in three of the major collegiate lacrosse polls … the Fighting Irish peak at No. 7 in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason rankings … the Irish are tied for ninth according to the USILA preseason coaches poll, while they are tied for 10th in the Inside Lacrosse poll that was released on Feb. 9.

QUALITY COMPETITION: The Fighting Irish have four teams on their 2009 slate that appear in the USILA preseason coaches poll … Notre Dame opens the campaign against No. 17 Loyola … the Irish will host No. 9 North Carolina on March 8 … Notre Dame will travel to No. 15 Denver for a GWLL showdown on April 11 … another key GWLL tilt will take place at No. 19 Ohio State on April 25.

BROTHERLY CONNECTION: Saturday’s showdown will have brothers on opposite sidelines … Kevin Cullinane is a senior midfielder for Notre Dame, while his brother Brian is a graduate student midfielder for Loyola … they hail from Southport, Conn. and Fairfield Prep.

IRISH NAME ’09 CAPTAINS: Seniors Peter Christman, Regis McDermott, Davey Melera and Scott Rodgers all will be first-time captains for the Fighting Irish during the 2009 campaign … Christman, a midfielder, started all 17 games last season and posted career-high numbers in goals (14), assists (20) and points (34) … overall, he has played in 47 career games, including 20 starts, and totaled 52 points on 25 goals and 27 assists … McDermott will be looked upon to anchor the Fighting Irish defense … last season, he started all 17 games and picked up 37 ground balls and was a key force behind one of the nation’s top defenses … Melera, a defensive midfielder, has played in 36 career games, totaling 10 points on five goals and five assists along with picking up 38 ground balls … in 2008, he appeared in 16 games and matched a career-best total with five points on two goals and three assists … Rodgers will be looked upon to fill the shoes of graduated All-American Joey Kemp in goal … Rodgers has played in seven career games and carries a 5.73 goals-against average in 73:20 of play … he has made 23 saves, while allowing seven goals for a .767 save percentage.

IRISH DEFENSE AMONG THE NATION’S BEST: Notre Dame boasted the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game … in 2007, the Fighting Irish ranked fourth nationally by surrendering a program-record 6.66 goals per game.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: As the Notre Dame defense has been one of the best in the nation over the past two seasons, so has the Fighting Irish offense … in 2007, Notre Dame averaged 11.65 goals per game, which ranked fourth in the nation … the Irish averaged 12.04 goals per game last season and that placed them fifth among NCAA Division I teams.

STREAKING: Junior midfielder Grant Krebs carries a team-best 16-game point streak into the 2009 season-opener against Loyola on Saturday … he has notched 35 points on 26 goals and nine assists during the streak … senior attackman Ryan Hoff is riding a team-best 14-game goal streak.

MANNING UP: Last season, the Fighting Irish ranked fourth nationally in man-up offense by converting on 44.6 percent (29-6) of their chances … Ryan Hoff had a team-best seven man-up goals, while current juniors Grant Krebs and Matt Ciambella both notched four man-up tallies.

FACING OFF: Notre Dame won 241 of 384 faceoff opportunities last season … the .628 winning percentage ranked the Fighting Irish second nationally … as a senior last season, Taylor Clagett produced a .619 percentage (203-328) … the Irish will have a hole to fill with the graduation of Clagett, yet head coach Kevin Corrigan sees potential with junior Trever Sipperly and sophomore Jake Marmul sharing faceoff duties.

BIG EAST AWAITS: The 2009 season will be the last for Notre Dame in the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) … the Fighting Irish will begin play in the BIG EAST Conference in 2010 … the six other conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Georgetown, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova … the teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular season schedule … the BIG EAST will apply for an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Championship field … men’s lacrosse will be the BIG EAST’s 11th men’s sport while the Conference conducts 13 women’s sports … Notre Dame already is a member of the BIG EAST in 23 other sports … Notre Dame has been a member of the GWLL since 1994 … the Fighting Irish have captured 11 regular-season GWLL titles in addition to winning the inaugural GWLL Tournament in 2008.

ARLOTTA STADIUM: Arlotta Stadium will become the new home for the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs upon completion, which is scheduled for June of 2009 … construction of the facility began in August of 2008 … conceptual plans suggest a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that would include an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas … the state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. … he and his wife Bobbie pledged the lead gift toward the stadium to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle … the Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – also have pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project … in addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs have donated over two million dollars.

WATCH ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All Notre Dame home games will feature a live broadcast on und.com, the school’s offical athletics web site … simply go to the front page of und.com and click on the `Live Events’ tab and select the game to view the broadcast … live stats will be available through Gametracker via und.com by going to the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse page and clicking on `Schedule’ to select the game to follow.

SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to und.com to sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter.

KEEPING UP WITH ND MEN’S LACROSSE: Log onto und.com for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program … und.com, the official athletics web site for the University of Notre Dame, features press releases, game stories, feature stories, video interviews, stats, rosters and more … fans also can call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 … the hotline provides schedules and result information for all 26 varsity sports … in addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting assistant sports information director Sean Carroll at Carroll.64@nd.edu or (574) 631-2664 … all requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll … credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.